You are hiring a new chef for your kitchen, but before you finalise the deal, you want to make sure that he or she has the skills you need. As a result, you want your prospective chef to do a trial in your kitchen. To make the most of the experience, you should keep the following tips in mind:
1. Don't schedule the trial for a whole shift.
A trial gives you a chance to see job candidates in action, and it shouldn't be a tool for free labour. When setting up the trial, make sure that it is only for an hour or two at the most. It shouldn't cover a whole shift. You want to maintain trust and respect with your job candidates, and if they feel like they are being used for free shift labour, they may not like that.
2. Have the new hire review the menu.
Before throwing a job candidate in your kitchen, have them review the menu. This give your job candidates a chance to ask questions and think about cooking techniques before they get thrown into the frenzy. Their questions and opinions of the menu can also help to give you a good sense of their food philosophy.
3. Mix the job candidate with your other important players.
When scheduling the trial, look at who else you have scheduled. If it is not a busy night and you only have the "B team" scheduled, you should wait for another night. Ideally, you want your key players in the kitchen. That way you can see how the new candidate gets along with your head chef, sous chef and others. Their potential for camaraderie may be even more important than the raw skill set of the chef whom you are thinking about hiring.
4. Have a backup plan.
When you have someone do a trial in your kitchen, the hope is that he or she does an amazing job and that you hire them. However, that is not always the case. In some cases, the prospective chef simply won't be able to keep up with the pace of service at your establishment.
To ensure that you are not left with a dining room of hungry customers, always have a backup on hand for whatever the trial chef is doing. For example, if he is working the salads or the grill, make sure there is someone else on staff who can jump into those roles as needed.
Want more help arranging trials for prospective chefs? Contact a restaurant staffing company. They can help connect you with professional cooks and waiters, and they can provide you with advice on everything related to hiring.